KCS Hall of Fame Inductees » 2020 Inductees

2020 Inductees

KCS Hall of Fame Class of 2020

The 6th Annual Kingsport City Schools Hall of Fame Ceremony was not held due to COVID-19.

Kingsport City Schools still plans to recognize and induct two members of the sixth class of the Kingsport City Schools Hall of Fame, during the back to school teacher Convocation event in July 2021, if possible, due to COVID-19.


Established as the keystone award for former employees, the KCS Hall of Fame recognizes those individuals that have most impacted the Kingsport educational community during their careers with KCS. 

The class of 2020 elected to the KCS Hall of Fame includes:
Mrs. Joyce Cooper

tradition ERA CATEGORY (RETIRED 25-49 years for induction)

Joyce Thompson Cooper retired in 1987 after 27 years in education with Kingsport City Schools. After one year of student teaching at George Washington Elementary School from 1960 to 1961, she spent the remainder of her teaching career as a 5th Grade teacher at Washington Elementary. She is well remembered for her innovation, inclusivity, humor, and sense of discipline in the classroom. Mrs. Cooper encouraged all students to reach their fullest potential as well as becoming an inspiration for other teachers — both past and future generations. In her time at Washington, she was involved in the community, carried her faith into the classroom, and welcomed all students regardless of personal obstacles or background. Mrs. Cooper held her students close to her heart and taught not only the required curriculum, but instilled lifelong lessons beyond the classroom. She was named Kingsport City Schools Teacher of the Year in 1972 and later received the Outstanding Educator Award for Tennessee in 1986. In addition, she was a member of the Phi Kappa Phi Honorary Society. Mrs. Cooper was posthumously elected to the KCS Hall of Fame in the Tradition Era category (Retired 25 - 49 years from induction).
Mr. Jim Welch

Modern ERA CATEGORY (RETIRED Less than 25 years from induction)

Jim Welch's teaching career in KCS spanned thirty years from 1976 to 2006. In those thirty years, he taught 7th social studies, 8th grade American History, and coached boys and girls soccer. He served as the president of the Kingsport Education Association, the legislative Chair of the Tennessee Education Association, and as an educator liaison to the State Board of Education. Mr. Welch was named Tennessee’s Outstanding Teacher for the Humanities in 1998 and Tennessee’s Outstanding Teacher of Social Studies in 2002. He was a respected teacher that every student hoped to have. He was engaging and he made learning relatable and memorable along with forming personal connections with all of his students. Mr. Welch’s voice has been heard across the world and known for his engaging and well thought out messages. He is recognized as the face of the Elizabeth R. Griffin Research Foundation which was established upon the death of a Kingsport student while working in an animal and biological research center. After seeing the loopholes first hand, Mr. Welch knew he had to change agencies and policies worldwide to promote biosafety. His ability to portray his ideas in an engaging way makes him a tremendous asset to everything he does. Mr. Welch was elected onto the Board of Education for a four year term starting in 2019 and was later elected president of the Board in 2020. Mr. Welch was elected to the KCS Hall of Fame in the Modern Era Category (Retired less than 25 years from induction).